(Editor’s note: This is the second of two columns on social media.)
Of all the business social media options, LinkedIn is the most valid and the most valuable. But it is not the only.
In order to master business social media, it takes a successful combination of your business Facebook Page (where people can “Like” you), your Twitter account (that allows you to “tweet” timely, valuable bits of information), your LinkedIn account (that allows you to make business connections and posts your valuable tweets automatically if you set it up that way) and your YouTube channel (where you can broadcast your value videos, information videos and testimonial videos).
LinkedIn allows you to find people that can possibly do business with you, be a valuable contact and, more importantly, it allows people to find you.
Most of the salespeople that use LinkedIn are trying to find leads or beg for some kind of connection. This strategy is the least useful, but it’s better than a cold call.
LinkedIn has a wealth of CEOs and other C-level people in its network, and millions of entrepreneurs (yes, millions) who own their own business and can make a final decision.
LinkedIn is the new cold call. Instead of calling a gatekeeper and fishing for information on one possible decision maker, you can now advance search on LinkedIn and find exactly who you’re looking for before you make the call. You can discover who is connected to your connections and find people by job descriptions and job titles.
Your job, as a master of business social media, is to attract them, not beg them. Your job is not to find them; your success will come from letting them find you.
Of my 3,600 connections on LinkedIn, I have asked less than 100 people to link with me. The others asked me to link with them.
Here’s the total business social networking strategy:
Register “www.yourname.com.” If your name is taken, put the words “I am,” or “the great,” or “the one and only” in front of your name. If all of them are available, buy all four. If your last name is available, buy that too. Establish a one-page website. On it, post your philosophy of how you treat customers. This will give you a high ranking (probably a number one ranking) on Google, so that people can easily find you.
Then create a blog -- in your name. (Wordpress, Typepad or Blogger offer free or low-cost options.) Then create your business Facebook page, your Twitter account, your LinkedIn account and your YouTube channel. Make sure they’re all in your name or contain your name. This gives you even more Googlejuice and will give you a half-a-dozen listings or more on Google.
The key is to make yourself visible on the Internet – through your website, by blogging,= and via value-based use of social media.
I also recommend that you go to www.aceofsales.com and establish an account. It’s only $20 per month, and it will allow you to access Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter from the homepage with one click. It will also allow you to send out an e-mail magazine (e-zine).